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Tanzymore v. Bethlehem Steel Corp.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    The district court dismissed a diversity jurisdiction suit because Tanzymore failed to provide evidence that he was domiciled in Ohio.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A plaintiff does not need to be provided the opportunity to testify in an evidentiary hearing before the court dismisses his complaint for lack of diversity jurisdiction.

    Facts.

    Tanzymore filed suit against Bethlehem Steel Corp. (Bethlehem) and claimed to be domiciled in Ohio. Tanzymore, however, failed to provide evidence that he maintained a permanent residence in Ohio, and the evidence suggested that Tanzymore was domiciled in Pennsylvania. The district court dismissed Tanzymore’s complaint for lack of diversity jurisdiction, and Tanzymore appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a plaintiff must be provided the opportunity to testify in an evidentiary hearing before the court dismisses his complaint for lack of diversity jurisdiction?

    Held.

    No. The district court judgment is affirmed. Tanzymore had the burden of establishing his domicile for purposes of diversity jurisdiction, but did not provide more than conclusory statements to establish his domicile.

    Discussion.

    To prove diversity jurisdiction, a party cannot merely assert the location of his domicile. A party is not entitled to a hearing prior to a motion to dismiss if the party had the opportunity and failed to present evidence of his domicile.


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